tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN September 20, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 250. the nays are 164. the joint resolution is passed. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion from the gentleman from texas, mr. smith, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 6429 on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 6429, a bill to
amend the immigration and nationality act to promote innovation, investment, and research in the united states, to eliminate the diversity immigrant program, and for . her purposes the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 257. the nays are 158. 2/3 of those not responding in the affirmative, the rules are not suspended and the bill is not passed. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5987, as amended, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5987, a bill to establish the manhattan project
national historic park in oak ridge, tennessee, lows alamos, new mexico, and hamford, washington, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. hastings: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous ferrell on the bill h.r. 3249. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 788 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 3409. the chair appoints the gentleman from ohio, mr. latour et to preside -- latourette to preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house in
the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 3409, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to limit the authority of the secretary of the interior to issue regulations before december 31, 2013, under the surface mining control and reclamation act of 1977. the chair: pursuant the rule the bill is considered read the first time. general debate shall be con find to the bill and amendments and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member. the chair and ranking minority on the chair of energy and commerce and chair and ranking minority member. the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings and the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. markey, the gentleman from from michigan, upton and the gentleman from california, mr. waxman and the gentleman from
florida, mr. mica and the gentleman from west virginia, mr. rahall, each will control 10 minutes. and the house will be in order. and the chair would recognize the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, 2008 campaign, president obama plainly declared the policies he supports would bankrupt american coal production. the obama administration has waged a war on coal, coal jobs and the small businesses in the mining supply chain and the low cost energy that millions of americans rely on. mr. chairman, the house is not in order. the chair: the gentleman is correct. the committee will be in order and the chair would ask members to take your conversations in the back of the chamber, to
remove your conversations from the floor, please. take your seats. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, amazingly, the obama administration has denied that they have launched a war on coal, yet the facts are stubborn things. just this week, alpha natural resources announced the closure of eight coal mines. aggressive regulations were specifically cited by the company for the closure of these mines. new regulations proposed by the obama e.p.a. threatened to shut down a coal-fired plant in arizona. this would cost hundreds of jobs and eliminate millions of dollars in revenue for navajo tribal economic development,
education and basic services. these lost jobs aren't random events. they are the direct result of the policies and actions of the obama administration. these are the outcomes of the regulatory war on coal. for more than a year and a half, the natural resources committee has been aggressively investigating one of the obama administrations most covert but outrageous fronts in this war, a decision by the interior department to rapidly rewrite a regulation governing coal mining near streams. the obama administration simply threw out the stream buffer zone rule that had undergone five years of analysis and public review and used a short circuited process to hire a contractor to write this new regulation. but when the news media revealed official analysis of this rewrite and other regulations,
would cost 700,000 jobs and cause economic harm in 22 states, the administration fired the contractor and continued to charge ahead. to date, the committee's investigations has exposed gross mismanagement and potential political sbrerns and widespread economic harm this regulation would cause. the interior department refuses to comply with congressional subpoenas to produce documents and information that was that would fully reveal how and why this regulation was being rewritten. a report by the committee was issued today which details findings and information uncovered in this investigation. the committee is available at the natural resources web site. it's not a matter if the new obama regulation will be imposed but when.
television cameras overheard president obama whispering to the russian prime minister saying, you will have more flexibility after the next election. the interior department's new stream buffer zone regulation on coal is being held back and concealed until after the november election. when this president would have more flexibility to unleash its job-destroying impacts. that's why congress must act now to stop this. this new regulation mab halted. title 1 of today's bill, the stop war on coal act, is authored by our colleague from ohio, mr. johnson, and prohibits the obama administration from issuing this new regulation and allows time to undertake an open, transparent, rulemaking investigation that accounts for the economic impacts. president obama's war on coal is
real. the lost jobs are already happening and more are at risk and america's energy costs are too high and the war on coal will drive them even higher. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and all regions of the country to stop these red-tape attacks on american jobs and american-made energy. and with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. markey: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this bill. the republicans are saying that there is a war on coal, but the only battle coal is losing is in the free market to natural gas, to wind and to solar. just four years ago, coal generated 51% of the electricity
in the united states. now it is down to 35%. and when you add up hydropower, the renewables, natural gas, the other gases, you get 44% of our electricity sector. just like governor romney says, he has given up on 47% of americans, the house republicans have given up on 44% of our electricity sector. just like the politics rips tightly to the past, their energy policies hold fast to the energy technologies and the fuels of yesterday, like coal and oil. the free market has been replacing coal with natural gas, which has grown from 21% of our electricity generation back in 2005 and 2006, and now, it has risen to 30% of all electrical
generation in the united states, natural gas. it's not a war, it's a revolution. and what has happened is, simultaneously, coal has come down to 35%. surprising, isn't it? the numbers look like they match up perfectly especially if you add up the rise from 1% to 4% of electricity in the united states which is now generated by wind over the last five years. that's what's happening, ladies and gentlemen. and all the rest of this, i don't understand, to be honest with you. it's almost like the republicans are rejecting the free market as it is now operating as the country is moving to natural gas. and i understand the coal state members have to stand up and defend this change in the marketplace but i don't understand why my other republican friends would reject those free-market principles. and why the switch from coal to
natural gas happening? it's because natural gas is cheaper. natural gas prices have decreased by 66% since 2008. it is cheaper to produce new electricity from natural gas than from coal. this isn't a conspiracy, but a competition. but republicans say that there is a war on coal. well, in a market sense, that war is now being won. when i was a boy, i had to go down into the basement with my father to shovel the coal. that's how we kept our house warm. and my mother said let's move to home heating oil. and so my father had the home heating oil come. that was a revolution. and now there is another revolution going on, up in the northeast, because of the low price of natural gas, 1.4 million northeast households
from have switched from oil to natural gas over the last decade. why is that? it costs $2,238 toll heat your home with home heating oil and $629 to heat your home with natural gas. and that's why they are switching. same thing in the petro chemical energy, fertilizer industry, from oil to natural gas. the price is low. they are moving in that direction. that's the larger story that is occurring. the natural gas revolution in the united states of america. so, ladies and gentlemen, i just urge all of you to understand that this is not the obama administration and a war against coal. that is not what is going on. there is a darwinian marketplace revolution taking place led by
natural gas, followed by wind that is changing the face of our marketplace in our country. and only when you admit this will we be able to have a real debate out here, because all the rest of this is really just meant to be political to harm the president in the election of 2012, when the real harm to coal is being done in the marketplace. so i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the chairman of the house appropriations committee, the gentleman from kentucky, mr. rogers. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: during his 2008 election campaign, president obama had the audacity to set an energy goal to bankrupt the coal industry. unfortunately, this is one promise the president is keeping. coal mines are closing, miners are being sent home, our
strategic energy advantage being thrown away for windmills and solyndras. i know miners day in and day out. they make real personal sacrifices doing dangerous jobs, not only to look after their families, but support local businesses flourishing and helping the american economy. coal is not america's energy problem, it's america's energy solution. sadly, the last three years, this administration has brought forth an january slaut of job-killing regulations, three times condemmed by the federal court and deadlocked the permitting process with the purpose of driving coal from the energy marketplace. in kentucky, the results are in. in my region more than 2,000 coal miners have lost their jobs
this year, dozens of local support businesses are downsizing as a result, the same is the same in virginia, west virginia, pennsylvania, where last week 1,200 workers were given pink slips. it's time for this time to stop. this war on coal is real. it threatens the way of life in these small-town communities with rich legacies and real people, our country men. i'm proud to stand in support of coal miners in coal communities and support the stop the war on coal act, h.r. 3409. it sends a clear message that the obama policies are wrongheaded, not only for coal, but for our country. i urge passage and put coal miners back to work. . the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. markey: i yield the reminder of our time to mr.
holt. the chair: the gentleman has five minutes. mr. holt: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank my colleague, the ranking member on the committee. this republican-led house has already cast 302 soon to be more anti-environmental votes in this congress. in our last week in session before the election in november our only eighth day in session since the beginning of august, the majority now wants to use this precious time when we should be dealing with the nation's economic problems, instead we are planning to consider legislation on the floor that will add to this total of anti-environmental votes. no, there is no war on coal, not by the obama administration
or anyone else. mr. markey has explained the market forces at work, but there clearly has been a concerted effort. one out of every five votes we've taken in this congress to reduce protections on our air, on our water, on our open spaces, etc.. now, this bill includes a coal ash title that endangers the health and safety of thousands of communities, provisions that would increase the levels of toxic mercury, lead and cancer-causing toxics in the air and the water. provisions in this bill that guts the clean air act. why the house would waste precious time redebating these bills and voting on them once again is a mystery to me and i think must be a mystery to anyone who is observing the
behavior of this house of representatives. it only underscores the fact that the house republican majority is more focused on passing message bills than addressing the real issues that face our nation. the remaining new title of this bill consists of a bill that was approved in the resources committee back in february. it purports to halt an ongoing effort by the obama administration to rewrite a so-called midnight regulation that was adopted by the bush administration on mountain top removal mining. this bush midnight -- this bush midnight mountain top removal rule weakened a reagan-era regulation by increasing the mining companies to dump mining waste in streams. yes, believe it or not, they want to weaken those protections and that's what
this -- it's another provision of this bill before us today. the obama administration has signaled it intends to revise the bush administration regulation to better protect local communities, to better protect public health, to better protect the water. however, this effort is only at the very early stages, and the obama administration has not even issued a proposed rule. so this is unnecessary, going in the wrong direction, weakening environmental protections for this country. so those are reasons enough to oppose this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, how much time on both sides? the chair: you have 3 1/2 minutes left. and the gentleman from massachusetts has a minute and a half.
mr. hastings: has how much? the chair: a minute and a half. mr. hastings: i have 3 1/2 minutes? the chair: you do. mr. hastings: i do. i'll be more than happy to yield to the author of the legislation that accompanies title 1 of this bill, the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson. the chair: the gentleman from ohio. mr. johnson: i thank you, mr. speaker, mr. chairman, for yielding the time. i must say my colleague just commented on the brucks' rewrite of the -- bush administration' rewrite that took five years. he called that as a midnight rewrite. my goodness, that was a really long night. it took five years to do it. you know, today i rise in strong support of legislation that i've sponsored to stop the administration's job-destroying war on coal. this legislation is in direct response to the president's ongoing rewrite of the string buffer zone rule, a rule that according to the
administration's own estimates would cost at least 7,000 direct jobs and potentially tens of thousands direct and indirect jobs. mere days after assuming office, president obama set out to rewrite this rule, cut coal production up to 50% in america and cause electricity rates to skyrocket even higher than the president has already pushed them. because as we all know the average utility bill for the middle class has risen over $300 a year because of this president's radical environmental policies. the last thing the middle class needs is their utility bills to go even higher. however, if the story ended there it wouldn't be bad enough, but it doesn't end there. it actually gets much worse. the president's administration has deliberately tried to hide the truth about the cost of this rule to the american public. in fact, a presidential appointee asked the contractors working on the rule to lie
about the job loss numbers so the administration could convince the american public that this rule was good public policy. thankfully the contractors were men and women of character and would not lie for the administration. the president's administration then fired those contractors. the natural resources committee has subpoenaed the administration for documents and audio recordings regarding the rule. not surprisingly as we've seen many times before, the president has failed to live up to his campaign promise of leading the most open, transparent government ever because he has not allowed the administration to turn over the documents that we've asked for because he knows they will hurt his re-election prospects. but this legislation is not about a sloppy and unethical rules process. this legislation is about saving tens of thousands of jobs for hardworking americans, and it's about providing reliable, affordable energy
sources for hardworking taxpayers and businesses all across america. throughout the country, hardworking coal miners and utility plant workers are losing their jobs because of this president's radical environmental policies. just this week, hundreds of coal miners were told they would lose their jobs because of the president's anti-coal stance. just today, a utility company announced they would close a coal fired power plant and hundreds more workers would lose their jobs. these job losses are in addition to the thousands of ohioans and eastern and southeastern -- in eastern and southeastern ohio that have lost their jobs because of the president's radical policies. mr. hastings: i give the gentleman an additional 15 seconds. mr. johnson: this legislation will bring a stop to the war on coal by not only stopping the rewrite of the string buffer zone rule but contains four bipartisan bills that have already been passed through the house. i urge all of my colleagues to support this job-saving legislation and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields
back. the gentleman from massachusetts actually controls the time. you have a minute and a half. mr. markey: i yield the balance of our time to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey. mr. holt: i thank mr. markey. mr. chairman, this legislation is drafted so broadly that it's likely to cause real damage. it would prevent the interior department from issuing nearly any new regulation under the surface mining control and reclamation act. the bill would prevent the interior department from undertaking any of a number of actions that is considering to ensure that mining operations are safe for the workers and for the public and for our environment. i filed an amendment to narrow the scope of this title, but the majority would not make it in order. furthermore, h.r. 3409 would completely paralyze the office of surface mining, which is responsible for protecting the
citizens and the workers and we should not limit this agency when it comes to worker safety. it would threaten -- this bill would threaten public health by blocking the critical clean air act regulations that limits dangerous pollutants, as i said earlier, including mercury in the air that we breathe. this is an irresponsible bill. it is unnecessary. we have important work to do to shore up this economy and to create jobs and why in the world we are doing this is beyond anybody's reasonable explanation. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington has 15 seconds. mr. hastings: i'll do my best to capsulize it. i yield myself the balance of the time. mr. chairman, it was the president when he was a candidate that said that his policies if enacted would cost
coal jobs. for three -- for nearly four years we have seen evidence of that and the latest example of that was when alpha coal company laid off 1,200 people, citing the regulations that the president said he would promulgate. this is a good bill. i urge its adoption. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's capsule has expired. it is now in order to hear from the energy and commerce committee, the gentleman from kentucky, mr. whitfield, and the gentleman from california, mr. waxman, will each control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: thank you very much. i must say that i'm a little bit shocked that people would be so critical of this bill in saying that this bill is not
important. all of us know that president obama when he was running for president made the comment that if he's elected president you could build the coal power plant that he would bankrupt the industry. and our friends on the other side of the aisle say, well, coal is having problems today because natural gas prices are going down. and so let's let the free market work and coal is losing out because of these natural gas prices. but the truth of the matter is if natural gas prices were higher than they'd been in the history of america, under this administration, if they finalize the greenhouse gas regulation, you cannot build a new coal powered plant in america. and so one of the things had a this bill does is it simply
says no, you are not going to regulate the greenhouse gases with this legislation -- with this regulation. the second thing that it does is that this administration has been more aggressive than any in recent history on regulating the coal industry. so the second thing that we do is we simple he require the department of commerce to lead an interagency committee that will complete an analysis of key e.p.a. rules and regulations and the impact that they have on jobs in america, on our ability to compete in the global marketplace on the energy prices, on energy reliability and on the benefits, what is so radical about that?
an interagency task force to simply examine the cost of these accumulate lakes of regulations impact on energy prices, impact on global competitiveness, impact on energy reliability, what is so radical about that? and then finally the third thing that it does is we say we're going to establish minimum federal requirements for the management of coal ash. coal ash has been used in america for 50 years or more to build highways and be used in concrete, and so all we're saying, we're going to set a minimum federal standard and we're going to let the states enforce it through enforceable permits and then e.p.a. can get into the action if they want to if the state fails to act.
so i don't view this as anything radical, but if you go to nicole mine today and you tell people that -- if you go to any coal mine today and you tell people that this regulation is not harming their ability to work, i think you would be facing a losing argument. and one of the things that upsets me the most about all of these regulations is when lisa jackson comes to testify, she talks about all of the benefits from a health perspective. and i would be the first to acknowledge our air today is cleaner than it has ever been and all of us can take pleasure in that and feel very proud of that and the effectiveness that the clean air act has given us. . so the important thing today is
to recognize that there are diminishing returns in these additional regulations. and if you look at the cost to the coal miner and his family when they lose their health care , e.p.a. does not look at the impact that that will have, the cost that will have to society, but they look at models and they determine that maybe next year, they will prevent one million people from having asthma, which is quite subjective. so this is a reasonable piece of legislation that simply tries to slow down e.p.a., particularly at a time when our economy is weak, when we're trying to create jobs, not lose jobs, and when we are trying to be and remain competitive in the global
marketplace with countries like china, that are stepping up the use of their coal. and we are sitting here with a 225-year reserve of coal and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. waxman: over the past two years this republican house has the most anti-environmental record in the history of this congress. the republican house has voted more than 300 times on the floor to weaken long-standing public health and environmental protections blocking important environmental standards and even halt environmental research. it's an appalling record. i remember a time when there was bipartisan support for
protecting the environment. some of our best allies were republicans, like former science committee chairman bollard. it would have been unthinkable to bring a bill that aadvice rates the clean water and clean air act to the floor. our last order of business before the election in 2012 is this bill, h.r. 3409. this is the single worst anti--environment bill to be considered during the most anti--environment house of representatives in history. under the guise of protecting coal-mining jobs, house republicans have resurrected their most extreme anti--environmental bills. this new frankenstein legislation is a sweeping attack on environmental protection, many of which have nothing to do
with coal. it's an all-out assault in america's bedrock environmental protections. since 1970, when richard nixon was the president of the united states, the u.s. has had a national policy that air should be safe enough for people to breathe. the republican bill that we are considering today would overturn this policy and cut the heart out of the clean air act by allowing air quality standards to be set on the basis of polluter profits rather than health. this would reverse decades of progress in cleaning up our air. and the gentleman who last spoke on the floor says he likes the fact that we have cleaner air. but enough is enough. the standards -- the standards
that we see being changed would no longer be based on health. the bill also null files e.p.a. rules to require power plants to finally reduce their emissions of toxic mercury, which can cause brain damage and learning disabilities in infants and children. reductions in toxic air pollution means more heart attacks, asthma attacks and more emergency room visits and more premature deaths. we have had enough of those. we have to go backwards and allow toxic pollution to do harm to so many people. but the bill doesn't stop there. it would overturn the obama administration's historic vehicle fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards. these standards are supported by
the auto industry, because they provide the industry with regulatory certainty and the single national program. the standards will boost our energy independence by serving over two million barrels a day. the savings to american consumers will be equivalent to lowering gasoline prices by a dollar per gallon. these standards that the republican bill would overturn are a victory for the auto industry, consumers and the environment. they have nothing to do with coal. but house republicans are targeting them any way. the legislation would prohibit e.p.a. from taking any action to reduce dangerous carbon pollution. it codifies climate science
denial by overturning e.p.a.'s scientific finding that carbon pollution endanger health and welfare. the premise of title 2 of this bill is that climate change is a hoax. the bill even eliminates the existing requirement that oil refineries, chemical plants and other large polluters disclose how much carbon pollution they are releasing. the scientific climate change is already occurring, all all around us, the recent wildfires, drought and heat waves are extreme weather events that scientists have been predicting for years. the house republican solution to the greatest environmental challenge of our time is to bury their heads in the sand and pretend it isn't happening, and they call this bill a moderate, not extreme one.
this assault on the nation's environmental laws will be the last order of business before the house adjourns for the election. it won't go anywhere in the senate. it is a partisan, political bill that is distracting us from dealing with the real problems facing our nation, like creating jobs and strengthening our economy. we should stay here, mr. chairman, and do some real work for a change. this political bill is the wrong direction for america. i urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: how much time do we have remaining? the chair: the gentleman from kentucky has 4 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. whitfield: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from tennessee. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute.
mrs. blackburn: i thank the gentleman from kentucky for his good work on this piece of legislation. there is a war being waged on energy and on coal in this country. but it's not coming from another country, it is coming from our own government. and we see this taking place every day. here are a few facts. the united states produces 35% of the world's coal, which is more than any other country in the entire world. most americans think we should be using our natural resources to improve the quality of life and benefit our citizens and indeed we should. we have more than 250 billion tons of recoverable coal here in this country. coal produced about 42% of all the electricity that was generated in the u.s. last year. and shutting down the coal industry might sound like a good
idea for the sierra club meeting, but it doesn't make any sense. this legislation is needed because it puts the brakes on the e.p.a. i encourage my colleagues to support the bill. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: i yield one minute to the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mckinly. mr. mckinley: i rise today to stop this administration's war on coal. those who believe this isn't a war are in dangerous denial. the actions of this administration against coal have caused massive uncertainty in the marketplace. this obama's war on coal has come in waves. with retracting a -- shutting
down a coal mine and new coal mine construction. shutting down all existing power houses, boiler, mack, stream buffer rule, treating coal ash as a hazardous material, slow-walking over coal mining permits and i'm here to support the coal ash provision. the majority in the house and the senate already have passed this concept. they support this issue. this is not a war on coal, though. it is a war on the communities that mine coal. when you shut down a coal mine, you shut concrete block suppliers and machineists, electrical workers -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: may i inquire how much time is on each side. the chair: the gentleman from california has 3 3/4 minutes.
mr. waxman: we have an additional speaker, i would like to continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: i yield one minute to the gentleman from oklahoma, vice chairman of the energy and power subcommittee. mr. sullivan: i rise today in strong support of h.r. 3409. this bill would help reverse the negative impact of president obama's policies and protect american jobs from overregulation by the e.p.a. the obama administration is trying to regulate what they don't have the votes to legislate and it is costing american jobs. alpha natural resources announced the elimination of 2,100 jobs due to obama's hostility. the relief this bill provides cannot come soon enough. the train act is a bipartisan legislation that i authored this
year. the train act forces e.p.a. to conduct a cost benefit analysis as the most expensive power sector regulations so the american people can understand how the e.p.a.'s train wreck of regulations is impacting our economy. the train act simply asked these questions, what do these e.p.a. regulations mean for the ability to compete in a global marketplace? will electricity prices climb and by how much. how would higher electricity prices and power plant closures affect jobs in the u.s. economy. this is the right thing to do and i urge the passage of this measure. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: i yield to mr. pompeo. mr. pompeo: when you think of coal and jobs, you don't think of kansas, but we depend on
affordable and abundant energy to build airplanes and all the things to come with affordable energy. this is important to jobs not only in coal country, but in kansas and every place and we are trying for economic growth across the country. it is implausible to imagine how you can regulate an industry and shut down a coal-fired power plants and subsidize the money and think you have good energy across america. 23 million people out of work, economic growth under 2% and these e.p.a. regulations that continue one on top of another primary cause of it. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky -- mr. whitfield: we have no further speakers on this side. i would like to reserve, 30 seconds to close. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky has 45 seconds.
the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from from the state of new jersey, ranking member of the health subcommittee, frank pallone. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i rise today to speak in opposition to h.r. 3409, another in a string of bills put forth by the most anti--environment house in the history of congress. i would like to reference title 5 of the legislation which bars e.p.a. from reviewing permits that allow mining companies to dump the material they blast off the top of mountains into streams and valleys. last year, e.p.a. issued a decision to reject proposed disposal of mountain-top mining waste. let me stress this was an extremely rare action taken by the e.p.a. and the first time it has used the clean water act to overturn an approved mining permit. this mine would have dumped 110
million cubic waste into nearby streams and this would be in logan county and causing damage. the surface mining in the steep slopes has disrupted the biological enteg right about the size of delaware. 2,000 miles of streams with mining waste and contaminated downstream areas and people have been drinking the by-products of coal waste for more than two decades. rather than clean ar clearwater, the people of appalachia are left with orange or black liquid. this isn't just about the environment but public health. exposure to this causes cancer, organ failure and learning disabilities and multiple children suffering from headaches, nausea and other symptoms likely due to contamination from coal dust. my colleagues on the other side
of the aisle will claim that e.p.a. is killing jobs and i disagree. what e.p.a. is doing is protecting the people from appalachia from exposure to harmful chemicals. we must stop the dangerous mountain top mining. i urge my colleagues to oppose this harmful legislation. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. mr. waxman: i take the rest of my time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. . . mr. waxman: there's no war on coal. if coal cannot compete with natural gas, that's the way it works. do we blame the government for the failure of typewriter manufacturers to stay in business because they've been replaced by computers? coal is not going to go out of business. the president said in his
statement of administration policy, to be clear, the administration believes that coal is and will remain an important part of our energy mix for decades to come. for that reason, since 2009 the administration has committed nearly $6 billion in advanced coal research, development and deployment and continues to work with industry on important efforts to demonstrate advanced coal technologies. let me just tell you what the american heart association, american lung association, american public health association, asthma and allergy foundation, health care without harm, national association of county and city health officials, physicians for social responsibility, and trust for america's health, they say with such dramatic consequences for public health and enormous costs from air pollution-related illnesses, we urge you to stand up to the pressure of big polluters and reject h.r. 3409
for what it is, a war on lungs. that has no place at the top of congress' legislative agenda. coal has had a pretty good deal. they've never have had to carry the full cost of burning coal, they've never had to pay for the external consequences to human health and the environment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky. >> thank you, mr. chairman. america would not be what it is today, economically, without the use of coal. i think all of us recognize that. mr. whitfield: and i would like to just read a couple of statements from recent court decisions about e.p.a. the court called e.p.a.'s rational, magical thinking, stunning power for an agency to
irrigate to itself. it says e.p.a. acted arbitrarily and capriciously and in excess of its statutory authority. the president says different things at different times. when he was a candidate last time he said that he would bankrupt the coal industry. when he's a candidate today, he says he supports the coal industry. but his administration, through the e.p.a., shows clearly that they oppose coal. the proposed green house gas regulation, -- greenhouse gas regulation, if finalized, would prohibit the building of a coal power plant in america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the time for energy and commerce has expired.
the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i claim time in support of the bill on behalf of the committee on transportation and infrastructure. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. chairman, i rise in strong support of h.r. 3409, the coal miner employment and domestic energy infrastructure protection act. almost four decades ago, congress enacted the clean water act. congress established a system of cooperative federalism by making the federal environmental protection agency, the e.p.a.,
and the state partners in regulating the nation's water quality and allocated the primary responsibility for dealing with the day-to-day water pollution control matters to the states. for most all -- for almost four decades, the system of cooperative federalism between the e.p.a. and the states has worked quite well. mr. gibbs: however, in recent years the e.p.a. has begun to use a questionable tactic to usurp the state's role under the clean water act in setting water quality standards and to invalidate legally issued permits by the states. e.p.a. has decided to get involved in the implementation of state standards, second guessing states with respect to how standards are to be implemented and even second guessing e.p.a.'s own prior determinations that a state standard meets the minimum requirements of the clean water act. e.p.a. has also inserted itself into states and the army corps of engineers' permit issuance decisions and is second guessing states and other agencies'
permitting decisions. e.p.a.'s actions increasingly are amounting to bullying of the states and are unprecedented. title 5 of h.r. 3409 is the text of h.r. 2018, a bill that has already been approved by the house of representatives, overwhelmingly by a bipartisan vote. title 5 of h.r. 3409 would clarify and restore a longstanding balance that has existed between the states and the e.p.a. as co-regulators under the clean water act. and to preserve the authority of states to make determinations relating to the water quality standards and permitting. the language in title 5 was carefully and narrowly crafted to preserve the authority of states, to make decisions about their own water quality standards and permits without undue interference or second guessing from the e.p.a. bureaucrats in washington with little or no knowledge of local water quality conditions. title 5 reigns in the e.p.a. from unilaterally issuing a revised or new water quality
standard for a pollutant whenever a state has adopted an e.p.a. -- and e.p.a. has already approved a water quality standard for that pollutant. title 5 restricts the e.p.a. from withdrawing its previous approval of a state's water quality permitting program or for eliminating federal financial assistance for state water quality permitting program on the basis that auto -- that the e.p.a. disagrees with that state. further, title 5 restricts the e.p.a. from objecting to permits issued by a state. moreover, title 5 clarifies that the e.p.a. can veto an army corps of engineers' clean walter act section decision when the state concurs with the veto. these limitations apply only in situations where the e.p.a. is attempting to contradict and unilaterally force its own one-size-fits-all federal policies on the state's water quality program. by eliminating such overreaching by the e.p.a., title 5 is no way
-- in no way affects e.p.a.'s role in reviewing states' permits and standards and coordinating pollution control efforts by the states. the e.p.a. just has to return to a more collaborative role it has long played as the overseer of the states' clean water act. there are some who claim that the bill only disrupts the complimentary roles of e.p.a. and the state under the clean water act and eliminate e.p.a.'s ability to protect water quality and public health in downstream states from actions in upstream states. in reality, these two want to centralize power in the federal government so it can dominate water quality regulation in the states. implicit in their message is that they do not trust the states in protecting the quality of their waters and the health of their citizens. title 5 of h.r. 409 returns to the balance certainly -- certainty and cooperation in regards to the environment, the
economy, job creators and our permit holders have been begging for. i urge passage of h.r. 3409 and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia rise? mr. rahall: how much time do i have? the chair: 10 minutes. mr. rahall: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rahall: i rise in support of the stop the war on coal act or as i prefer to call it, the defense of coal miners jobs act. it has already been made clear on the -- on this floor that america's coal industry is under siege. coal companies themselves have been very upfront about the chief source of their troubles, their lost revenues, mine closures and layoffs. according to coal company officials and their own corporate financial statements, the biggest factor negatively affecting coal of late has been economic, involving declining demand in coal, softness in the thermal coal market, a slowdown
in the worldwide economy, unexpected weather and the growth of coal stockpiles, all of course amplified by the low cost of natural gas. but when these factors began to evolve, already darkly looming over coal, with ever-tightening constrictions of the clean air act, that regulatory perpetual motion machine from which rule after rule has rolled out with no regard for the condition of the economy or the effect those regulations would have on the livelihoods of american families. meanwhile long-running legal skirmishes, lawsuit on top of lawsuit, challenging coal mining permitting in my home state had for decades unfairly and inhumanely left coal miners and their families constantly looking over their shoulders, waiting to be told that their mine was shutting down and their
paychecks were stopping. and then, and then came along the current e.p.a. leadership. and what may be the most flagrantly offensive tactic aimed squarely at undoing coal. this agency has singled out what i believe it saw as a politically expendable region of the country. and imposed a wholly new permitting regime. this e.p.a. has run rough shod over the states and my home state and others in central appalachia, to impose its own ideological agenda, usurped the legal authorities of other federal agencies. it brazenly misused and abused its regulatory powers to put a stranglehold on coal mine permitting in these states. this is not just my assessment. this is the assessment of the courts which found that the e.p.a., which found, and i
quote, the e.p.a. has overstepped its statutory authority under the clean water act and infringed on the authority afforded by law to the states, end quote. i know quite possibly better than anyone else on this floor today how the regulatory arm of government can wreak havoc on the people we represent. i know because the real frontlines of this war are not here in washington. they run through the hills and hollows of southern west virginia, throughout our coal fields, through our every vein, and the true soldiers in this war are our coal miners who simply want to do their jobs. they want to earn and honest living and decent benefits for themselves and their families. now, i've been proud to stand in this body for over three decades , to stand in the trenches and fight with our coal miners, and
i'm not about to break with them one iota. in defense of our coal miners, along with chairman mica of our transportation committee, and myself, we drafted h.r. 2018, the clean water cooperative federalism act, which is a key part of this bill we consider today, as chairman gibbs knows well and has been helpful with as well. . i have as well supported other measures which surprised this resolution when they passed the house, with the exception of the base bill to which they are attached as it has not been considered on the floor on its own. and i stand here now on this floor in support of this bill, to once again defend our coal miners and their families and my state of west virginia. coal miners have risen up against their government before, just look at the history. they've marched on washington before, we've heard their voices . and if this e.p.a. continues to turn a blind eye to the law, to impose its anti-coal views, if
it continues to unlawfully mess with our miners, to cut off their paychecks and cut short their dreams, then i have a message for the e.p.a. from the folks back home. you've not heard the last from us. you've not heard the last at all. american workers want to work. jobs are hard to come by these days. this government ought not to be a party to eliminating the ones that still exist. so in defense of our coal miners' jobs, i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. . the chair: the gentleman from ohio. mr. gibbs: we have no more speakers. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from ohio has the right to close. mr. rahall: i will give my concluding comments.
the chair: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: the bottom line is that the coal industry, as all industries, do need regulatory stability. as the only sitting member of this body who was a conferee on the bill which began smack, i well recall our goal back in 1977 when that legislation passed was to create a dovetailing between coal production and environmental protection. my own state of west virginia is a leader in surface mine reclamation. our industry was doing the job. indeed, we almost achieved that goal until recent years when an activist e.p.a. sought to usurp all authorities of other agencies, be it the corps of engineers or the office of surface mining under the
department of mining. it should run the permitting process. water quality permits should then follow, not vice versa. again, i urge support for this bill and i point to how we have been able to do it in west virginia, effectively reclaim our land, provide jobs for our people and have an environmentally sound environment in which our people are proud and in which jobs are provided and good-paying jobs, i might add, for the people of west virginia and all of our appalachia states. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio. mr. gibbs: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i thank my colleague from west virginia and what is happening in the environmental protection agency, the revocation of permits. and i have been here not quite two years and i witnessed one of
the most egregious things i have ever seen and maybe i will talk and give a few examples, which blew me away when i learned what happened. we had an operation in the state that mr. rahall represents went through 10 years of impact studies and in 2007, they were granted their permits. and they started the operation up, the mining operation and in 2010, when this administration came into power, they revoked the permits and they were arguing they didn't have the authority to revoke the permit three years later even though there was no cause. we had hearings in this on my committee. and the state of west virginia did not support those actions and army corps of engineers stated that there was no problems at the operation -- no permit violations. this is the first time in
american history that i believe that a permit to be in business was revoked when there was no permit violations. this sets a very dangerous precedent, because lots of industries have to have a permit from the government to be in business and if the government can come in and take your permit for no true cause, real cause, not in violation of the permit, who's going to invest and grow this economy and this is about growing jobs and growing the economy. and so this is why title 5 of this bill needs to be passed. and i want to applaud mr. rahall and his support of that because he understands what the workers in his state are going through and as we saw this week, the thousands of layoffs of coal miners because there is a war on coal and war on our economy and lessens our opportunity and in essence our freedoms. i urge members to support this bill and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields
back the balance of his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. in lieu of an amendment in the nature of a substitute, it shall be in order to consider as an orange bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 112-32. that amendment in a nature of a substitute shall be considered as read, no amendment shall be order except those printed in house report 112-680. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report shall shall be considered as read, equally divided and control by a proponent and opponent, not be subject to amendment and not subject to demand for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in house report 112-680. for what purpose does the
gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. markey: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in house report 112-680 offered by mr. markey of massachusetts. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 788, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. markey and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. markey: i yield myself such time as i may consume. with just one more day left until congress recesses until the elections, the republican majority has decided that instead of dealing with real problems facing americans bypassing a jobs' package and dealing with the looming fiscal claff or tax certainty to middle-class families, we are dealing with an imaginary war on call fabricated by republicans in order to justify their real war on the entirmente, the most anti-envirmente congress in
history. in reality, this bill represents a war on us. it's the republicans in congress, making clear that their priority is not protecting the well-being of the american people. the republican majority has already acted on already four of the five titles in this bill and the senate has rejected every single one of them. the president has vowed to veto every single one of them. the only one is moving forward with a rule that does not yet even exist that would limit coal-mining companies from dumping tons of their toxic mining waste directly into streams and rivers. the ironic part is that according to c.b.o., this bill won't even prevent the administration from doing that, but it does prevent the administration from undertaking any action that would ensure that mountain-top mining operations are safe for our
workers and safe for the health of those who live and work nearby. i would like at this point reserve. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: i claim the time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. hastings: i yield three minutes to the the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. johnson: it absolutely amazes me that my colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle can honestly and with a straight face stand up and say that this republican-led house has not put forth jobs bills. there have been 40 jobs bills sent to the senate from this house already. this is another jobs bill that is prepared to be sent to the senate. i want to also remind my
colleague that the stream buffer zone rule that we are talking about here today, it took five years to put that rule in place. the administration went after that rule with a vengens without even seeing what the rule would do in terms of providing the protections that you are so adamantly arguing about right now. instead, they used an environmental lawsuit to go after the coal industry and to undermine job creators all across america and it's driving up america's energy prices and it's irresponsible. it's wrong. this amendment is only meant to distract the public from the job-killing policies of this administration. the bill was not written to deal with health issues. the gentleman's amendment would change the stated goal and would duplicate laws and mandates that are already in the federal code.
the other side think they are the only members of this body that are concerned about public health and the environment. nothing can be further from the truth. i grew up on a mule farm and i know the importance of having a clean and vibrant environment. i also have kids and grandkids and i want to ensure our generation leaves them with an environment that is healthier than the one we inherited. this legislation is about balancing job creation and economic job prosperity with sensible environmental regulation. this amendment does neat they are of these things and i urge my colleagues to defeat this amendment. and with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington state reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is rognized. mr. markey: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. so the republicans say that this legislation is all about
creating jobs. they say we will save money bypassing this disastrous bill, but the numbers don't add up. according to the environmental protection agency, mountain-top mining has nearly buried nearly 2,000 miles of streams with mining waste that leaches dangerous heavy metals into that water. one study puts the cost of reclaiming a stream impacted by this type of mining is $800 per ar $800 multiplied by one mile, multiplied by the 2,000 miles of streams already buried, $8.5 billion. that's what it will cost to clean that up and that is to clean up the streams that have already been decimated. that's not the only cost included. we have the cost to health, the
cost to children, studies have shown communities located near mountain-top mining sites have a 42% increase in infants born with birth defects and 16% higher risk of giving birth to a child with low birth weight, a factor that is associated with fetal death, inhabited cognitive development and chronic diseases later in life. communities also have significantly higher rates of lung disease, pulmonary disease and higher likelihood that these diseases will kill them. mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from washington state. mr. hastings: i advise my friend from massachusetts we are prepared to close if he is. mr. markey: how much time is remaining? the chair: the gentleman from
massachusetts has 1 1/2 minutes remaining and the gentleman from washington has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. markey: i yield myself the remainder of my time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he consume. mr. markey: while it is impossible to put a dollar figure completely on the suffering that those families will feel, one study has put the public health burden from a premature death in the appalachia communities at $74 billion a year. that is math that even governor romney would even understand. in fact, when he was governor of the great state of massachusetts, he stood in front of a coal plant and here's what he said, i will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people. and that plant kills people. my amendment is simple. it says that if the secretary of interior is allowed to issue a rule if it would protect
pregnant women and children from adverse reproductive outcomes or reduce the effects of pulmonary disease or lung cancer, that that rule can go into effect. i urge all members of this body to support this amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington state is recognized. mr. hastings: i yield our time to the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. . mr. johnson: thank you. it's mind boggling to sit here and listen to this, mr. speaker. i have to remind us again. we're talking abouted a administration that -- talking about an administration that even before they came into the office said they were going to bankrupt the coal sthri. -- industry. that's one promise they have kept. it's an administration whose
vice president said in 2007 that coal is more dangerous than high fructose corn syrup and terrorists. that's the kind of reasoning that we're getting out of this administration. my colleague was quick to try and hold a math class here. let's talk about a different set of numbers. let's talk about the 7,000 direct jobs that are going to be cut, that are going to be lost if this rule goes forward. let's talk about the thousands of indirect jobs that are going to be lost as a result of this rule going forward. let's talk about the 50% reduction in coal production across america, when america is still dependent upon coal for the very energy that is needs to fuel the manufacturing that america does. let's talk about those numbers if we want to talk about what it's going to do to america if this rule goes forward. let's talk about the thousands of people that are going to be
hurt when their families don't have jobs to go to. let's talk about the checkbooks at the end of the month that don't balance because of increased skyrocketing utility rates and now mom and dad can't pay the bills, they can't go and buy a new pair of tennis shoes because they've got an electricity bill that's going off of the charts. we talk about something that's going to hurt the mile class, this rule is what will hurt the middle class. it's irresponsible, this amendment does nothing to move america forward. i urge my colleagues to oppose this rule or to oppose this amendment and i yield back the balance. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. markey: mr. chairman, i on that i request the -- on that i request the yeas and nays.
the chair: the gentleman requests a recorded vote? pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in house report 112-680. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? bucks bucks i have an amendment -- mr. bucshon: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: an amendment offered by mr. bucshon of indiana. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 788, the gentleman from indiana, mr. bucshon, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana. mr. bucshon: thank you, mr. speaker. in my state of indiana 90% to 95% of all electrical power comes from coal. this keeps the cost of energy down and attracts millions of jobs to my state through our manufacturing industry. this amendment would require the secretary or any other federal
official proposing a rule under this act publish with each rule the scientific studies the secretary or other officials relied upon in developing the rule. this amendment is simple and would ensure the rules being issued are based on valid, scientific studies that can be peer-reviewed and replicated. this amendment should be supported by everyone in this body that values sound science and likes transparency with the rulemaking process. federal agencies are promulgating more rules each year that control greater aspects of our personal and professional lives. often these rules are pages long , instituted with little or no congressional input, and can have a devastating effect on job creation and our economy. it is important for all federal agencies to provide the science and research behind proposed rules to the public. it enables the scientific community and the general public to scrutinize how unelected washington, d.c., bureaucrats
are writing rules that increase costs for businesses and hurt our economy. i have personally met with numerous government officials such as those from the mine safety and health administration and discussed their rulemaking process. more than once i have told -- i have been told that proposed rules related to the coal industry are based on scientific studies and data. most recently the underground coal mine dust regulation. i have asked to see these studies both in private meetings and in committee hearings and i have never been provided with a scientific data that they say supports the new rules. as a scientist and medical doctor, nobody understands the importance of good science more than i. good science makes for good policies, whether it is in medicine or it relates to public policy. it's important for members of this body and the american people to be able to review the science and the studies that contribute to federal rulemaking
an know that every rule and regulation is based on sound science. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and require that we have a transparent rule making process that allows every concerned american to review the science behind a proposed rule. i reserve the balance of my time. i will yield. mr. hastings: i appreciate the gentleman's amendment. i think it add as great deal to this legislation. too often we overlook common sense and that's precisely what the gentleman's amendment does and i support his amendment and i yield back to the gentleman. mr. bucshon: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from indiana reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. markey: i claim time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. for five minutes. mr. markey: i thank the chairman and i yield myself as much time as i may consume. and i actually have no problem with the gentleman's amendment. if he wants to require the publication of scientific studies used to develop regulations, i'm just fine with that. i'm sure he knows of course that this is already a federal requirement. but i don't object to the
redundancy of an amendment passing saying they should do something that they do already. but i do want to take a moment to talk about the republican war on science because this bill that we are debating today is their battle plan. the essence of today's bill is that science and facts do not matter. and when science and facts become inconvenient, we can just repeal them. take the provision of this bill that legislatively overturns a scientific finding that greenhouse gas pollution is dangerous. a decision that was made based on two full years of work and a 200-page synthesis of major scientific assessments, including assessments performed by the u.s. global change research program and the intergovernmental panel on climate change fourth assessment report. in fact, the u.s. court of appeals in washington recently rejected challenges to e.p.a.'s scientific endangerment finding saying that the e.p.a. used an
ocean of evidence to support its decision that it was unambiguously correct in its determination, and that e.p.a. is not required to reprove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question. republicans decided that peer-reviewed science was inconvenient because that analysis was what started the pretend war on coal. so we have to vote again and again and again to eliminate all that science. and this bill tells the e.p.a. to ignore the science that air pollution causes lung disease and that mercury damages children's developing brains. in fact, it tells e.p.a., don't even look at the science. look at the costs. if controlling air pollution is expensive, then we shouldn't do it. even if it would save lives. it says, no matter what e.p.a. learns about the sludge that comes out of the coal-fired power plants, no matter how high the concentrations of poisonous
arsenic, mercury or chromium, and no matter what e.p.a. learns about how these materials find their way into our drinking water, e.p.a. is not allowed to scientifically determine that material to be hazardous. this bill turns a blind eye to science. the only time republicans value science is when science can be used as a weapon. when science can be used to delay regulations. when endless analysis can be used to create paralysis. the republicans suddenly value science. the republican majority doesn't like that every respected scientific entity over the last decade has concluded that greenhouse gases cause climate change. their solution repeal -- their solution, repeal the science. republicans aren't happy that the secretary of health and human services has issued a report that finds that florida meld -- formaldehyde causes cancer. sure, the world health organization already determined that 17 years ago. their solution, we should study
it again. we should allow a national academy of sciences reviews so we can prevent the administration from taking any action to protect the public against dangerous formaldehyde. in fact, there has already been a wider -- writer to the -- rider to the health profingse bill that does just that, while also stripping funding for any subsequent reports on cancer. it's a strategy taken right out of the american chemical council's playbook. it is act one of big coal's comedy of errors. we've seen it over and over again on the house floor. first, deny the science. second, delay the regulations. by legislating a new scientific study to review the first science the industry doesn't like. and third, deter efforts to protect the health and security of millions of americans by requiring yet another third party to review the scientific study that was just legislated and postponing regulatory action
until after that is complete. this bill isn't about the war on coal. it's about the republicans' war on science. that's why we're out here. it continues unabated today. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from indiana. mr. bucshon: can i inquire how much time i have? the chair: the gentleman from indiana has two minutes remaining. mr. bucshon: thank you. my amendment addresses timing. timing is important when it comes to this issue, because the public needs to know and this congress needs to know what science is before the rule is finalized, not after the rule is already -- has already been essentially finalized and public comment period has passed. i have direct experience with this recently, with the coal dust regulation. after the rule was essentially finalized, i asked for the data myself and was denied the data, claiming that it would be hipaa violations if they released scientific data on black lung
disease, for example, that this coal dust regulation was based on. which is not true. i'm a physician and there's scientific studies released every day in journals across america that show x-rays and other things of patients without names on them and they don't violate hipaa regulations. so i think it's very important, the timing of this is important because after the bill -- the rule is already finalized, even if you see the science, it makes it very difficult to overturn the rule and there's no opportunity or the opportunity has passed for peer review and congressional review of the science behind a proposed rule. i reserve the balance of my time. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from indiana. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to.
it's now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in house report 112-680. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. waxman: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in house report 112-680 offered by mr. waxman of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 788, the gentleman from california, mr. waxman, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. chairman, this bill is 80 pages of one reckless assault after another on public health and environmental protections. it is probably the single worst anti-environmental bill and the most anti-environment house of representatives in history. the bill continues a republican war on science and head in the sand approach to climate change, which is the biggest environmental challenge of our time. this bill attempts to legislate
away the scientific findings by the environmental protection agency, that emissions of carbon pollution endanger public health and welfare by contributing to climate change. well, i have news for my republican colleagues. you can rewrite the clean air act, but you can't change the laws of nature. in june the d.c. court of appeals upheld the e.p.a.'s endangerment finding in a unanimous decision led by the reagan-appointed chief justice judge. the court stated e.p.a.'s interpretation of the governing clean air act provisions is an unambiguously correct. the court dismissed every challenge to the adequacy of the scientific record supporting e.p.a.'s findings. neither the courts have decisively rejected the republican arguments against the endangerment findings, house republicans want to change the law. but denying scientific reality is not going to change climate
change. my amendment is very simple. it strikes the language in the bill that would repeal the endangerment finding. it does not fix the other egregious anti-environment provisions of the bill, but at least congress would not be doubling down on science denial. the energy and commerce committee first produced the language -- language in title 2 of the bill last year, here's one of the world's preeminent science journals, "nature" wrote about the votes to deny the existence of climate change. quote, it's hard to escape the conclusion that the u.s. congress has entered the intellectual wilderness, a sad state of affairs in a country that has led the world in many scientific arenas for so long. misinformation was presented as fact, truth was twisted and nobody showed any inclination to listen to scientists, let alone learn from them. it has been an embarrassing display, not just for the republican party, but also for
congress, end quote. . what this amendment would do is to accept the scientific consensus, support the amendment and restore the findings as they should be in this bill. and it does not change the bill except for the findings that i think are embarrassing to this institution and don't deserve to be in this legislation. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? mr. whitfield: rise to claim time in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. whitfield: we can accept all of the scientific evidence. when the administrator of the e.p.a., lisa jackson, came to the committee, she was asked the question, what will happen if
other countries don't do the same thing we are doing, in other words what is going to happen if other countries don't regulate greenhouse gas. she said the benefits for americans will be very small, if anything, if that happens. e.p.a. even conceded in its own analysis of its automobile regulations, which it estimates will reduce the earth's future temperature by 1/100th's of a degree in 90 years. let's do a balancing act. we have a regulation proposed that would prohibit the building of any coal power plant in america. and the administrator of e.p.a. says that the regulation would be ineffective unless other countries joined in. so i would respectfully request the defeat of the gentleman's amendment. and i reserve the balance of my
time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. chairman and my colleagues, i ask for support of this amendment. let's not have the house of representatives take a position on a bill of upholding findings that are inaccurate, go against the scientific consensus and put our heads in the sand about the whole problem of climate change. i know that many of the people that don't want to dial with climate chan are going to ask us to bail out our farmers with the crop losses and people coming in asking us from all other parts of the country to help pay for the other climate disasters. we're americans and try to take care of each other, but we also owe it to this country to try and prevent the damage that we're seeing and will only increase in the years ahead if we do nothing about climate change and certainly if we deny
the very reality of the carbon emissions of cars and greenhouse gases, global warming and climate change. and with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: i have stated my reasons to oppose the amendment and i urge everyone to vote against the gentleman's amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it -- mr. waxman: i request a roll call vote. the chair: a roll call vote is requested. pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 4 printed in house report 112-680.
mr. kelly: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in house report 112-6680 offered by mr. kelly of pennsylvania. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 788, mr. kelly and a member opposed each will control five minutes. mr. kelly: i yield two minutes to my friend from texas. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. carter: this will require the secretary of interior to submit a report to congress about the fatalities and injuries caused by the rule and the cost of the economy caused by the rule and prohibits the department of transportation from consulting with the e.p.a. or the california interior resources board to complete the project. what we have here is executive overreach. we see a lot from the obama administration along those
lines. told us if congress doesn't act, he will. this has been a job that the congress authorizes the department of transportation to do to the cafe standards, corporate average fuel economy standards, not the cafe. and california has state standards, but that doesn't make them the sole authority on the standards. what this rule will do is raise the cost of a car by $3,000 and cost 160,000 jobs by the department of transportation's own flawed analysis and cost industry and consumers $210 billion, the most expensive rule ever for the automobile industry. this rule will price seven million americans out of the new car market and will end the cars that are priced under $15,000
and reduce vehicle safety mainly by reducing the weight and producing lighter vehicles which are more susceptible to fatal collisions and timely and most importantly to the state of texas, this will reduce access to pickup trucks and other work vehicles, which we are abundant in our state. this is overreach by the government. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. markey: i rise in opposition and i yield myself such time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. markey: this is a tremendous revolution going on in the united states right now that the kelly amendment would cut right to the heart of. between 2017 and 2025, as fuel economy standards in america rise to 54.5 miles per gallon
just because of those additional eight years of higher fuel economy standards, we would back two million dollars of oil out of the united states. how much is that? let me give you an idea. there is conversation about whether or not there might be a war with iran. well, the united states imports 1. million barrels of oil per day out of the persian gulf, 1.8 million barrels a day. this amendment would kill the efforts which the auto industry has accepted to back out two million barrels of oil a day by increasing the fuel economy standards between 2017 and 2025. this is one of the most anti- national security amendments we could have out here on the house of representatives' floor.
combined with the dramatic increase in co-2 that would go into the atmosphere because co-2 would go up in the atmosphere if this amendment passed. how much is that? that is as much as the entire united states emitted in the year 2010 in our country. so if you look at these two issues in combination, you look at the fact that the auto workers endorsed the increase in fuel economy standards, the auto industry endorses the increase in fuel economy standards, it's not unlike this myth that's been created that it's anything other than the marketplace that is the problem that the coal industry is principally having with natural gas coming as a substitute across the country and petro chemical industry and
the utility industry and consumers choosing it for home heating rather than oil. the same thing is happening here. where's the problem? who wants this change? the auto industry doesn't want it. the auto workers don't want it. it is a huge national security issue. and the auto industry enjoyed last year and is repeating this year record sales as their fuel economy standards go up. so i would just say that if you care about national security, you really don't want to change the law tonight that backs out two million barrels of oil a day, that the industry that is living under the regulation supports. that makes no sense at all as we are getting briefed in secret this afternoon about al qaeda all across the middle east and all across north africa. why would we do this?
i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. kelly: i find it unique just inside the beltway we are able to pick winners and losers and tell people, you can't drive what you want to drive and use the sour of energy you want to use, and you know why? we know better. and the track record here doesn't show me you know better, $16 trillion business in the red. i think the president has the war on wheels. now, think about america, you could pick the car you wanted to drive. in this country you could leave here and drive to california. you don't have to worry about it. this amendment only asked us to do something that is common sense. i have been here for 20 months and i have it down now.
when you take things away from people and replace it with something they don't want, let me tell you what happens. when you raise the price of a car, what it does is take off now the ability of someone to buy a car. the unintended consequences are astounding. we talk about the loss of jobs, not just for the people who build the cars but the people who make the tires, how about the different elements that go into a car and all the things that go into a car. we have a direct effect on these people being successful. you have to get these people to make them. there is a safety impact there. the losses that we continue to put on our job creators is staggering here and i think the reason why is because most of the people here have never been a job creator but debt creators. they love coming up with legislation that the average american couldn't begin to
figure out. they scratch their head and raise their shoulders and say how is this happening? this is happening by irresponsible legislation. if we can't legislate it, let's regulate it. so the administration says, you know what? if you do this 54.5 miles per gallon, you know what? you will save $8,000 in fuel. you have to drive 224,000 miles to reach that, but that is just a little detail. why would we even worry about the details and we know what we are doing here. my goodness, it's evident. there is a war on wheels and war on fossil fuels and just about everything here that would help a job creator here and we tell you we want you in the game. i say to these folks, you need to get skin in the game, too. i want to see your noses
bloodied a little bit when you come out with these ridiculous regulations. i'm tired being told you have to meet these standards. we have some fuzzy science. now, just close with this -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. kelly: we can get america back to work. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. gentleman has two minutes remaining. mr. markey: let me say this again, folks, don't quote me, i'm going to give you the c.e.o. of general motors and what he said about the standards that this amendment would repeal here tonight. not only would it end our ability to back out two million barrels of oil a day that we would impo port from the persian golf, but the c.e.o. said this
was a windfall for american manufacturers. the c.e.o. said these regulations are a wind fall for manufacturers of automobile manufacturers. it's not my quote but the c.e.o. of general motors. what is good for general motors is good for america. he is not alone, ford, chrysler, hyundai, jag water, nissan, toy on ita and the united walkers, environmental organizations, everybody agrees. where is it coming from? who doesn't like this? why are we having a debate here. i do not yield. i do not yield. there is no point in revealing something that dramatically enhances national security, save
consumers, 54.5 gallons by the time it ends, drives the car twice as far insed of $4, it is $2. it is a big savings for everyone and we know the technology is there because that's every ad we see on television, it's for the new hybrid and new technology. so it's all there. the industry supports these regulations that they are seeking to repeal. it is ideological. they don't like the government. the republican paradox is they don't like the government and have to come to washington to make sure it doesn't work. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts will suspend. question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from pennsylvania. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to. mr. markey: i request a recorded
vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from pennsylvania will be postponed. . it's now in order to consider amendment number 5 printed in house report 112-680. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. markey: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. number 5. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 printed in house report 112-688 -- 0 -- 112-680 offered by mr. markey of massachusetts. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. marky, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. markey: i thank you, mr. chairman. my amendment is very simple. if you want to keep america on its current path towards american energy independent by 2020, then let us ensure that e.p.a. uses the authority to reduce demand for oil that this
bill rescinds. in 1985, after the first-ever fuel economy standards mandated by congress were implemented, we imported only 1/4 of our oil. but after the republicans and the auto industry spent decades blocking further standards from being set, the numbers skyrocketed to a staggering 57% of our oil being imported on the day george bush in 2009 walked out of the office. remember, we put 70% of all the oil we consume in our country into gasoline tanks. well, 57% is a lot to be dependent upon foreign oil. especially at this perilous time in our nation's history. paid for with money that supports iran's nuclear program, roadside bombs in iraq, rockets for hezbollah and hamas and hate-filled teachings in saudi arabia. we broke that destructive cycle when the democrats passed and to his credit president bush signed
the 2007 energy bill that included the energy that i co-authored to require new fuel economy standards to be set. president obama accelerated the implementation and used the clean air act to require additional reductions in demand for oil and we are now back down to importing only 45% of our oil. got that arithmetic? 57% imported oil on the day george bush walked out of the white house in january, 2009. 45% dependence today. good job, president obama. let's stay on that path. that was not accomplished by launching a war on the auto industry. because 13, that's right, 13 major auto companies support these standards. the unions support the standards. environmental organizations. by repealing these standards republicans have launched a war against every single resident of this country whose hard-earned paychecks get poured into their gas tanks and have to pay for the defense budget to have all that have protection over in the
middle east, so he to ensure that that oil from that dangerous part of the oil comes into our country. and let's be very clear. if the obama administration is allowed to continue with all of its energy policies, we will be 95% to 99% independent by the year 2020. that is something we should not get off the path for. i'm going to at this point reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. any member seek time in opposition? for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? >> to claim time in opposition to the gentleman as he amendment -- to the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i stand in opposition to the gentleman's amendment very simply because we know that the clean air act, under the greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed by e.p.a., it will be impossible to build a new coal-fired plant in america. mr. whitfield: and because of
that we're going to lose a lot of jobs in this country. we're going to reduce the demand . mr. speaker, just one minute. i've got a -- at this time i would like to yield the bam of my time to mr. -- balance of my time to mr. kelly of pennsylvania. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kelly: you know, i -- it's intriguing, and again i've not just talked the talk, i've walked the walk. and i'm always fascinated by these facts and figures we throw around. we're talking about general motors. the general motes that are i understand, the general motes that are my father started with in 1936 is a parts picker, it was not the same general motes that are told me i could no longer be a dealer. because it wasn't the same
general motors. you see, general motors kind of went by the wayside and a new general motors came into view. and as we talked about all these folks that fell in line with what -- of course they did. who did they give all the money to? who got bailed out in this great auto bailout? who are the peoples whose jobs were saved? who were the people whose mentions were left hanging? we can talk about all these wonderful things that happened, and these are offensive. this gets to be a little bit silly to me. when the company that agreed to these new standards was beholden to the people who put them forward. it wasn't good enough that we already had standards on the book. no, no, no, no, 32 1/2 miles a gallon aren't enough. we have to get to 54. why is that? because that's what we want. we got to get california involved. we got to get the e.p.a. involved. we have to get everybody else involved.
i go back to day one, and the idea was to get away from dependence on foreign oil. now, look, we can talk about this and we can pretend that these things didn't happen. we can pretend that general motors went bankrupt but to keep general moters from going bankrupt, amazingly they went bankrupt. isn't it something that a company the size of general motors could emerge from bankruptcy in 11 days? my gosh, that's fantastic. you know what they were able to keep? they were able to keep tax losses. that usually doesn't happen in normal bankruptcy. but we can game that a little bit. when we talk to these other manufacturers and they say, we'll give you a carrot here, we also have a little stick that goes with it. they went along with it but look who went along with it. the board of directors was not elected by shareholders. it was appointed by the administration. for a guy that walked the walk and had a dealership taken away from him, not because i couldn't run it but because the
administration decided under the new general motes that are i wasn't going to be a dealer anymore. that's hard to take after -- my dad started in 1953. worked very hard to get there. we actually did build it. now to be told that, well, you know what? we made a decision you're not going to. this energy stuff gets a little bit weird to me and i know because i'd like to take credit for all the things the bush administration did. the fact of the matter is permitting's been stopped. if i want tone courage all members to just go out in the field, talk to the people in the coal business, talk to people in the oil business. talk to people that are having a tough time staying open because they can't get a permit. you can get a permit but you to wait in line a long tile to get it. these things again. this is common sense. and if we can't come together in this house and do what's right for the people of the united states, then there's something dramatically wrong. we've got tremendous natural resources, we just have to take advantage of it. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. markey: i yield myself the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. 2 1/2 minutes.
mr. markey: again, let me make this very clear. the increase in the fuel economy standards that we're debating here, the fuel economy standards that george w. bush signed into law. in december of 2007. that was george w. bush. fuel economy standards that are supported by all the major 13 auto manufacturers in the united states. the standards that we're talking about, that the republicans want to repeal, are supported by the united auto workers and by all the major environmental groups. where's the fight? if george bush and general motors and the environmental groups. you were all saying that you want washington to work. you're all saying you want partisanship to be put aside.
well, what are you looking -- how can you look past something here that is the perfect example of how the whole system should work? you know, bill clinton said it right at the democratic convention. it's all about the arithmetic. the d in the automobile is to drive forward. the r is for reverse. the r are the republicans. d's want to continue to move forward. they're trying to put this country in reverse here tonight. there's a consensus that was established in when george bush was president. that we have to do something about imported oil. and this is the act that we all agreed we had to take. so jobs saved, one million-plus. gas pump savings, double the gas mileage means that consumers' kor-uses are cut in half. no matter where they --
consumers' costs are cut in half, no matter where they drive. and energy independence. when it's all said and done, it's 3.1 million barrels of oil per day and we can tell the middle east we don't need their oil anymore than we need their sand. i'm missing something in this debate. i still haven't heard why you would want to repeal something. that helps our country on so many fronts. and at the same time reduces by $-- six billion metric tons the amount of co-2 that goes into the atmosphere that is dangerously warming our planet. while america is going to set 14 million new vehicles this year, the most since 2007, since the recession started. under this new law. so i urge adoption of the markey amendment so that we can back out that oil from our country. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it.
the amendment is agreed to. does the gentleman ask for a recorded vote? mr. markey: i do not think that objection was in fact made in a timely fashion, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman from michigan was on his feet. a recorded vote is requested. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment buffered by the gentleman from massachusetts will be postponed -- offered by the gentleman from massachusetts will be postponed. it's now in order to consider amendment number 6 printed in house report 112-680. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? mr. benishek: mr. chairman, i have an amendment the dt he can -- at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in house report 112-680
offered by mr. benishek of michigan. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 688, the gentleman from michigan, mr. benishek, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. benishek: thank you, mr. chairman. my amendment is very simple. it's a single line that adds -- line 15, including the health effects associated with regulatory costs. it's a simple principle, regulations cost money to implement. no one will dispute that. in fact, when the e.p.a. or any other federal agency wants to issue a new regulation, it's legally obligated to let americans know both the cost and the benefits of these proposed rules. however, due to a narrow interpretation of this obligation, the e.p.a. often avoids measuring all aspects of the full cost of its proposed regulations, including the impact of jobs lost and the adverse health effects of those lost jobs. why is this important? i'm a doctor. and there's near universal
agreement among doctors, scientists and status stigstigses that joblessness and higher energy prices result in negative health outcomes. including suicide, respiratory illness, and a much higher likelihood of early death. despite this, the e.p.a. never admitted that there was a simple negative health effect resulting from its heavy-handed air quality regulations. dr. harvey brener of the university of north texas has found that a substantial reduction in coal-powered lick terrorist could cause between 170,000 and 300,000 premature deaths. a 2011 study by the stoneybrook university found that the risk of premature death was 63% higher for people who experienced an extended period of unemployment. according to a 2012 report by the american legislative exchange council, michigan will rank as the fifth worst state impacted by the e.p.a.'s most recent onslaught. total job losses in the state could reach almost 15,000. to make matters worse, while
unemployment is decreasing, electricity rates will be increasing, potentially by as much as 30%. not only would e.p.a. regulations be responsible for michigan residents losing their jobs and paying more for electricity, it's estimated the state could lose $1.9 billion in manufacturing output by 2015. as well as suffer a loss of $1.7 billion in the state and local government revenue. let's talk more about the families in michigan. we know that 54% of michigan families that earn $50,000 or less a year currently spend 23% of their after-tax income on energy. and that michigan families earning $10,000 a year or less devote 85% of their income to energy. as for jobs, a recent study on the economic impact of lakes and sea way shipping found that
water commerce sustained almost 7,000 jobs in michigan. although the mercury emitted from u.s. fossfites has been cut in half since 2005, the obama administration insists on implementing harsh new regulations that will increase energy prices and have marginal benefits. the e.p.a. admits that virtually all, more than 99%, of the claim benefits of utility will come from reductions in particulate matter that was already regulated under separate regulations. families in my district simply can't afford these burdensome regulations and deserve an administration that will be truthful about the real economic and health impact of any regulations they propose. i urge members to support my amendment which again is simple. the underlying bill creates an
interagency committee to assess the cumulative impacts of current and pending environmental regulations. my amendment would simply require this committee to value the health effects associated with regulatory costs. like everyone, i want clean air and water. i grew up on the great lakes. i believe those of us who call northern michigan home are blessed to live near three of the five great lakes. anyone who visits our area is able to enjoy the clear blue waters of our vast lakes that stretch from horizon to horizon. i would never vote far bill that would endanger such a national treasure. my friends across the aisle will make all kinds of clear but this bill does not affect the authority of the e.p.a. to regulate mercury or other hazardous air pollute tans but will make sure the regulations are cost effective and used to improve processes. right now my constituents need jobs, not more regulations. we need to consider the full
costs, both health and economic, of proposed regulations. mr. chairman, i thank you for your time and urge my colleagues to vote for my amendment in the underlying bill. i'll reserve my time if there's any left. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. markey: i rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. markey: i yield myself such time as i may consume and say that this amendment make asterable bill even worse. it requires a new interagency committee to conduct an impossible study of e.p.a. rules that haven't even been proposed using data that doesn't even exist. this amendment requires additional nonexistent information to be included in the study. my colleagues' amendment would require an interagency committee to examine what he calls the health effects of
regulatory costs. this is ironic since the republicans have shown little interest in discussing the health effects of the legislative monstrosity which we are debating today. i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and to oppose the bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from michigan. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number seven prinned in house report 112-680. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk, amendment number seven. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number seven printed in house report 112-680 offers by mr. hairries of maryland. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 788, the gentleman from
maryland, mr. harris and a member opposed each will control five minutes. mr. harris: the sad fact is that the environmental protection agency bases its models on data not made public. my amendment requires that the e.p.a. make data public that they're based on and submit guidelines to peer review. it's my hope that transparency, sound science, and peer review are principles that everyone can support. for example, it's frequently claimed that the clean air act generates benefits that outweigh costs by a 30-1 ratio. but almost 90% of these claimed benefits are based on two studies whose underlying data has never been made public. i can verify this firsthand because for the last year, i've asked the administration in committee hearings and on the record for this information and
have been repeatly rebuffed. this is not an acceptable way to run a regulatory agency that impact ours country's health, economy, as we heard from the gentleman from michigan, unemployment and the ability to compete internationally. both president obama seen -- obama's senior science advisor and the head of e.p.a.'s independent science board agreed that the scientific data used by the government tooff its regulatory actions should be made publicly available. e.p.a. also states in its own peer review handbook that, quote, one important way to ensure decisions are based on defensible science is to have an open and transparent peer review process. unfortunately, when e.p.a. conducts a cost-benefit analysis for these major clean air act rule, they are not subjected to peer review. mr. chairman, we live in a world where people increasingly expect direct access to
information. government regulations should be able to withstand public scrutiny. if the benefits outweight the -- outweigh the costs, then prove it. if you believe a government regulation is justified, then you should have nothing to hide. i respectfully request support from my amendment and i reserve the plans of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. markey: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. markey: i yield myself such time as i may consume. this amendment would prevent e.p.a. from using important high quality research when setting standards to protect the public health and save lives. this amendment establishes a new requirement when e.p.a. sets national ambient air quality standards, the standards that tell us how much air pollution is safe to breathe. under this amendment, e.p.a. cannot use any study in setting these air quality standards
unless the study's underlying data has been made public. why is this a problem? because data sets underlying peer-reviewed scientific studies are the private property of the scientists that gathered them. in many case the data sets may include confidential business information or personal information such as an individual health records and the public availability of underlying data is not relevant to the quality of a study. publication of data sets is not required by peer review journals and it's not a common practice in the scientific community. e.p.a. cannot require scientists to give up their private property when they publish their peer reviewed studies. in many cases this would block e.p.a. from using relevant, high quality studies this policy has long been on the industry's wish list and we just have to make sure that we don't make it possible for them to put it on the books as a law and this is not because of the data quality concerns or
transparency concerns but because all these studies conclusively show that air pollution kills people, which is the very subject they do not want to be able to debate. this is a very dangerous amendment and i urge my colleagues to vote no and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. harris: mr. chairman, what's there to hide? if a regulation is justified, why should the government hide data from the public? in their justification of a regulation. mr. chairman, i've done scientific studies, i've been the peer reviewer on scientific studies. if i have a question abdata, i ask for it and i get it and i review it myself. this is the same access the public should have. nobody wants dirty air. nobody wants dirty water. but if we're going to pass job-killing regulations, we
better be sure that that is sound science it's based on. that's what this amendment does. i urge support and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from maryland. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. the committee will now rise. mr. harris: i move that the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the motion that the committee rise. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly the committee rises.
the chair: mr. speaker. the committee of the whole house on the state of the union having had under consideration h.r. 3409 directs me to report it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union direct he is thousands that the committee has had under consideration h.r. 3409 and reports it has come to no resolution thereon.
the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from dwea, mr. woodall, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker, i appreciate you coming in tonight and allowing me to have the time. i'm going to get a little
outside of my comfort zone, mr. speaker. you talk about the 20 months you and i have been on the job here in this body, we talked a lot about tax policy and i feel like we can -- we're going to have that conversation i think as we stand in the chamber a year from today, we'll have signed fundamental tax reform into law, i'm excited to see this body do that. i think about health care reform. i feel like this time next year, we will have much more freedom in our health care system. i feel like we'll have skin in the game in our health care system. and that's a conversation that americans had and will continue to have. but a conversation america has not been having, mr. speaker, pardon me is what about the federal -- is one about the federal reserve and what the federal reserve is doing to help with jobs and the economy. we talk about that here on the floor of the house on a regular basis, what are we doing to help jobs and the economy? we have about 30 bills in the senate that we passed here in the house that would stimulate the economy and help american
workers get back to work. but the senate has failed to act. in the absence of action by the senate, in the absence of being able to move legislation to the president's desk, the economy continues to flounder. president has orchestrated about $800 billion for the stimulus programs but that has not gotten the economy back on track. not only did we not get unemployment down, it conned to rise system of what we have, and so few folks in america talk about it, we have an independent federal reserve that engages in monetary policy and these days in economic stimulation. i want to point, mr. speaker, to an article by, i'll call him dr. phil graham. he's senator phil gramm from the great state of texas but born in the state of fwea and got his ph.d. from the university of georgia, a ph.d. in economics and he had an article in the "wall street journal" just this past week and i want to tell -- i want to tell you what it said.
senator graham writes this, since mid september, 2008, the federal reserve balance sheet has grown to $2.8 trillion from $924 billion as it purchased massive amounts of u.s. treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. to finance these purchases, the fed increased currency and prank reserves, base money, that kind of monetary expansion would normally be a hashing of inflation -- hashinger of inflation. however, the inflation rate has stayed close to the fed's 2% target. now, mr. speaker, i work hard. i study hard. i get through paragraph 1 of dr. graham's editorial, i'm already getting confused. because we don't spend enough time talking about velocity of the money supply. we don't spend enough time
talking about what the federal reserve's doing in terms of purchasing of bonds and we don't spend enough time talking about monetary expansion. but let me get into some terms that we do talk about more, mr. speaker. second paragraph of the editorial. while the fed considered its previous rounds of easing, qe-1, qe-2 and operation twist, the argument was consistently made that the cost of such actions was low because inflation was nowhere on the horizon. that same argument is now being made as the central bank contemplates qe-3 during the federal open market committee meetings. inflation is not however the only cost of these unconvention almontary inventions as they try to affect the fed policy on financial markets and on the economy, monetary policy adds to the climate of economic uncertainty and stays already caused by current fiscal policy. there will be even greater cost
wls the economy begins to grow and the fed to prevent inflation has to reverse course and sell bonds and securities to the public. i'm not going to say that's still perfectly clear, mr. speaker, but i am going to say we're starting to talk about qe-1, qe-2, now qe-3 because that open market committee met and decided to proceed with qe-3. and operation twist. now what are these terms and why don't we talk about them more often? let me just go briefly, mr. speaker, to the federal reserve act. just to be clear, section 2-a, monetary policy objectives, this is what we the congress, mr. speaker, have charged the federal reserve with. and i'll quote from the statute. the board of governors of the federal reserve system and the federal open market committee shall maintain long-run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates, commence rat with the economy's long-run potential to increase production so, as to
promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates. now, folks want to know what it is the federal reserve does. this is the congressional mandate. increased production, so as to promote efficiently -- effectively, pardon me, the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates. now, mr. speaker, i'm not a ph.d. economist but i've take an few economic classes over the years and what i would tell you is i have always imagined that full employment and stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates are often in conflict with one another. when you want to stimulate the economy, you try to lower interest rates so folks borrow more money, create more jobs, want to put more money into the hands of our small business owners, when interest rates are low. so we can bring unemployment
low. when the interest rates go higher, folks borrow less money. when they borrow less money, perhaps unemployment goes up. these are conflicting goals but we've tasked the federal reserve with both of those. and i want to you see, mr. speaker, what that brings us to today. i've got a chart here, you're not going to be able to see it from where you stand, but it's the last five years of the federal reserve balance sheet. and i'd be interested to take a poll here, mr. speaker. folks back in their office watching on tv, how many folks have taken a look at the federal reserve's balance sheet? i don't mean take a look in the last 10 days, i mean, who's take an look in the last quarter? maybe in calendar year 2012, mr. speaker. how many folks have take an look at the balance sheet in 2012? maybe not even 2012. what about this session of congress? what about this new decade? how many folks take a look at the federal balance sheet?
because what you see of the federal reserve balance sheet, mr. speaker, is a dramatic change. you're not going to be able to see these numbers here but they run from zero on the balance sheet up to $1 trillion, up to $2 trillion, up to $3 trillion. we throw trillions around in this town, mr. speaker, like they're nothing. trillion's a big number. it's a million millions. and historically, if you go back and you see it here on the chart, 2007, 2008, going back into 2006, in general the federal reserve, in order to keep liquidity in the economic system, in order to make sure that our financial system doesn't have fits and starts, kind of lubricate that system, make sure everything's moving at the proper pace, keeps just under about $1 trillion on its balance sheet. the debt that it buys, money that it's lending. it will buy treasuries to keep that market fluid. it has a window that it will lend to banks to keep that market fluid. and what we see here is
represented by this beige line here, is that going back into 2007, 2008, most of that balance sheet was comprised of this traditional activity. with a little bit of lending to financial institutions. you remember, mr. speaker, when folks got so scared back in 2008 when we started talking about tarp and the bank bailouts, we were going into the fall of that year and wondering if fiscal calamity was on the horizon. this congress passed, before you and got here, measures to expand our aid to financial institutions. to increase that lubrication, to make sure that dollars continued to flow. so you see it represented here on this gray line, mr. speaker. the federal reserve's balance sheet expanded with loans to banking institutions. now i don't mean expanded a little. traditionally it was about $800 billion. within the period of one quarter, we more than doubled
that to $2.2 trillion. almost tripled it. now, hear that again. this is an institution that exists to keep markets fluid, to prevent hiccups in our financial process, to make sure full employment, long-term interest rates are stable, price stability. tripled its balance sheet almost overnight in the name of protecting us from an economic collapse. and the balance sheet has not just stayed there since the fall of 2008, it's grown even larger but the components have begun to change and that's why it's important to begin this conversation. i don't claim to have all the answers. but what i do claim to know is, we're not spending enough time as a nation talking about the role of the federal reserve. the federal reserve's an independent agency. it's supposed to make decisions on its own. whenever someone claim -- complains -- complains to me, mr. speaker, about what's going on with the federal reserve, i
say, i understand that you have some concerns with the federal reserve. but the only thing worse than an independent fed chairman making these decisions would be a republican party chairman and a democratic party chairman making these decisions. we've made it outside of congress to keep partisanship out of it, to try to do the best economic things, instead of the best political thing. but this is what's happened on our watch. the fed has tripled the size of its balance sheet. first it was loans to banks represented here by gray. then it turned to liquidity in other credit markets, demonstrated by this blue. and then it turned to mortgage-backed securities. and long-term american debt. now, what does that mean? that means that the fed decided that no one wanted to buy mortgage-backed securities in this country. in the collapse of fannie mae and freddie mac, that uncertainty took over the
marketplace and it began to slow and in fact began to bind up as those mortgage-backed securities either began to fail or ceased to move so they began to buy in record numbers. represented here, mr. speaker. started out as just a little. now over $1 trillion in mortgage-backed securities going through 2010. couple that then with long-term bond purchases, american debt. now here we have an american banking institution, the federal reserve, buying american debt. don't think too hard about that. don't think too hard about what it means when the folks who control your money supply begin to buy your debt so that you begin to pay your interest to the federal reserve which then returns all of its profits back to the government. you begin to see you're taking out of your left pocket, you're
putting into your right pocket, taxing on the one hand and paying the other hand. it gets circular in haury and it -- in a hurry and it puts us as a nation on the hook for these actions. again, in five years, 2007 to 2012, and in the fall of 2008 to 2012, really four years, 48 months, we've triple thed size of the federal reserve's balance sheet and changed its composition from what has historically been traditional security holdings and loans to banking institutions, to making those the two smallest parts of the chart and making long-term debt and mortgage-backed securities the largest part of the chart. and that's what we've heard from the federal market committee, mr. speaker, is that we're going to continue that program to the tune of about $40 billion a month. these aren't actions that have no consequences, mr. speaker.
i'm looking here at yesterday's "wall street journal" and the headline is this. government's brace for currency onslaught ahead of qe-3. again, qe-3, q q.e. stands for quantitative easing. it's talking about pumping more liquidity into the marketplace. trying to keep the lubecation going in the american economy. and it's the expansion of the balance sheet. we have some charts that show what happened after qe-1 and what happened after qe-2 and operation twist. but this was in yesterday's "wall street journal." from their reporting pages. and "the wall street journal" says this. in the previous round of fed quantitative easing which was dubbed qe-2, the dollar weakened significantly. in the 13 months from june, 2010, when expectations of more fed stimulus first began to rise, until the $600 billion bond buying program wound up the following summer, "the wall
street journal" dollar index, in measure of the dollar's value against a basket of major currencies, lost $18% -- 18% of its value. i just want to you think about that for a moment. mr. speaker. we're here arguing about what's going to happen in the fiscal cliff and of course the house has acted to prevent taxes from rising on all american families come january. the senate has not yet acted. they're trying to push that bill through the senate, trying to get the president onboard. trying to prevent tax increases. a major part of what we do in this body. and trying to prevent tax inincreases, a major focus of the american taxpayer. all you have to do is going back to december, 2010, when speaker nancy pelosi was running this u.s. house, when majority leader harry reid was running the united states senate, when president obama was sitting in the white house. a big election had just been held in november of 2010. that election brought 99 new freshmen to this body.
turned over tremendous number of members. largest turnover we've seen in decades. and america said, i don't have any more money to give washington, i'm voting no on new taxes. and so what happened? the lame duck session, november and december of 2010, speaker nancy pelosi, majority leader harry reid, and president barack obama came together and extended the bush tax rates for an additional two years. they refused to raise taxes on the american people because the american people had just had a giant referendum in the november election and washington responded. folks who hated the bush tax rates, who demonize the bush tax rates, who i've never heard a nice thing said about the bush tax rates came together to extend those tax rates for two additional years. why? because the american people demanded it. in yesterday's "wall street
journal," mr. speaker, in 13 months, calls it correlated, call it coincidental. but in 13 months of qe-2, $600 billion of bond buying, the value of the american dollar against world currencies, mr. speaker, fell by 18%. which is in effect an 18% instant tax on every single dollar in every single american pocket in this country. if you're not thinking through that mr. speaker, here's the story. they're going to wal-mart to buy those chinese tennis shoes for your kids. now when the american dollar, the value of what a dollar buys on the world marketplace, falls
18%, that means the cost of those chinese sneakers rises by that same amount. because the dollar is worth less. foreign currencies are worth more. it helps u.s. exports, because what we produce here becomes worthless and makes it easier for foreign companies and corporations and nations to buy it. but it makes all of our savings, all the dollars in our pocket worth less, too. 18%. in 13 months. you and i weren't in congress at that time. but i wonder, how many letters do you think people got, how many phone calls came in, that said, i'm studying the actions of the fed reserve, i'm studying the bond buying program for qe-2 and i'm seing
the currency is falling by 18 act and i want congress to fix it. if we raised taxes by 18% in that time, you and i weren't here but if this house of representatives had raised taxes by 18% on every american family, there would have been a riot. phones would have lit up. email accounts would have been pumped full as american consumers said that's not the right direction for ameca. but who's talking about it when the federal reserve creates that impact for monetary policy. again, i'm not saying it's right or wrong, mr. speaker. we have to make these decisions as a nation. what i'm saying is there hasn't been enough debate on that topic. let me go on. again, from yesterday's "wall street journal," the dollar followed a similar but slower path leading to the qe-3 announcement last week. the "wall street journal" dollar index hit a 22-month high in july.
that means that our dollar was valued high against a market basket of world currencies which meant spending a dollar bought more goods than it historically buys. a 22-month high. bought more goods in july than in any other month over 22 months. "the wall street journal" goes on. 14-month high in july. and then started to slide gradually before dropping sharply once fed chairman ben bernanke signaled the central bank's plan at his speech in jackson hole, wyoming, on august 31. the index is now 6% off its july high. july to september, mr. speaker, every dollar in every american pocket, in every community across this land, is worth 6% less than it was just three months ago. how many others have you
gotten, mr. speaker? how many letters have you received from your constituents to say that every single dollar they're earning in their paycheck, every single penny in their child's penny bank, every single bank account, every single stock purchase, every single dollar of wealth we have in this country now buys 6% less. again, ben bernanke is a bright guy. allen greenspan before him, a bright guy. we have this independent federal reserve so we can have really smart people who are studied, schooled, decade upon decade, in the economics of our land and of our world, make these decisions, but they impact us. and we're not having that national discussion about what that impact is. 6%, mr. speaker. in just the past three months.
you know, we talk a lot about social security and medicare and certainly there's an impact on our seniors, mr. speaker work both of those major programs that we've all paid into out of our paychecks, all our lives, but what about folks on a fixed income? because again, part of that federal reserve policy, there's the expansion of the balance sheet side, there's also the controling of the interest rate side. and of course we pushed interest rates, what i had here, the chart of interest rates in this country, a 10-year treasury yield, pardon me, bond yield, is a number that's looked at around the globe. this chart goes from january of 2009 up to right now, here, september of 2012. and what you see in green is the beginning of quantitative easing one. qe-1. in green. you see the end of qe-1 in red.
as we begin to put more and more and more money into the marketplace, lubricate that marketplace more and more and more, the cost of borrowing money went higher and higher and higher. until qe-1 ends and interest rates collapse. then we announce qe-2. qe-2 starts, interest rates go up, qe-2 ends, interest rates collapse. this is what we're usually paying for money, average over the last 10 years. this is what we're paying for money right now. the lowest interest rates we've seen, not just in a generation, mr. speaker, than we've seen in decades. this is that dollar index i talked about. that market basket of world
currency. how much is a dollar worth? again, let's look at qe-1 begins, value of a dollar spikes briefly. throughout qe-1, the value of a dollar collapses, rises toward the end of qe-1. as soon as qe-1 ends, value of a dollar spikes again. qe-2 again. qe-2 begins, by the time qe-2 ends, we see the dollar valued substantially less. what's the discussion around the dinner table? you can't have a -- find a household in this country that hasn't had a discussion about their tax rate. they haven't had a discussion about the regulatory burden that is being placed on the federal government today. the challenges of going out and creating a business or building a new job because the regulatory burden. but how many folks are sitting around the dinner table talking about this small group of men and women, the federal open
market committee, the chairman of the federal reserve, and what they're doing, both that obligates americans and impacts our fiscal and economic future, and what they're doing to try to create those jobs and keep interest rates low for america today. this is a chart that concerns me the most, mr. speaker. we're borrowing at record low interest rates. and the federal reserve is doing a lot of buying of american debt, again, i talked about the left hand and the right hand, we're paying ourselves, borrowing from ourselves, these are clicks of the mouse these days. it's not dollars changing hands, we're clicking the mouse. what happens, borrowing $1 trillion a year? we're working thoord curtail that, of course discretionary
spending in the 18 months 20 months we've been here, we reduced 2010, came lower in 2011, now we have a continuing resolution that brings us low for the 2013 than we were in 2012. we're absolutely saving those dollars one dollar at the time. but we're still borrowing $1 trillion a year. who is buying that debt, mr. speaker? you know, in the early 1970's, it would have been us. that's been the history of this country. we, the american people, buy our debt. thrift was saled and we take our hard-earned dollars, we take those dollars we have accumulated as families through our thrift and buy american bonds with them. we reinvest in america. and when america pays interest on those bonds that interest comes back to us, as american families. but over the past four decades, that's begun to change dramatically. the mix of who is buying those
bonds has moved from american families and american institutional investors and it is drifting aagressively toward foreign purchasers. now that's just the way it is. we don't have any thrift in this country anymore. no one is saving money in this country anymore. america has debt it has to sell. it can't sell it to american families because american families don't have jobs or families so they have to sell toyota foreigners, china, germany, japan. that's the way the economy is today, mr. speaker. i've represented those lines here. this is a percent of g.d.p. that's what this chart is. this is the baseline, 0% of g.d.p. it goes back to the year 2000, comes out to 2012. the question is year over year, who is buying treasury securities? is it the private sector? individuals and institutional investors? that's the green line. is it foreign investors? that's the blue line. or sit the federal reserve?
now, again, i don't know who is following those things day-to-day. it's not coming up at town hall meetings or coming up around family dinner table bus the federal reserve, if you follow this black line here, the net change in what they were buying in terms of federal treasuries, it's pretty close to zero here this black line representing the federal reserve, zero in 2001, 2002, 2003, the foreign nations began to buy more here, american consumers began to buy more here they sold more here. but here's that black line, baseline, the federal reserve. going right on out. look at what happens in 2009, 2010, 2011. that black line spikes and as we go into 2011, i want you to see, mr. speaker, that black line crosses the green and red line. why these lines are getting so tall is because americans are selling so much debt, you've got remember that when president bush was in the white
house, when debts were considered massive at that time, we were under $400 billion a year. so we were trying to sell $400 billion in government-backed securities on the world market. beginning late in 2008, going into 2009, into 2010, into 2011, we began to sell over $1 trillion a year. the number of debt instruments that we had to sell on the world marx place tripled if not quadrupled. so you see that spike as everyone has to buy more of our debt. individuals are buying more, the green line for our nation -- -- green line, and foreign nations buying more with the blue line but starting in 2010 and 2011, you see the black line come out on top. the net change in the ownership of treasuries has shifted away from all private and
governmental investors combined around the globe. and now the biggest shift in each month is our federal reserve buying our own debt. us taking the money out of one pocket, putting it in the other, taking this -- taking the debt strum out of one pocket, putting it back in the other. what's the impact of that, mr. speaker, on the long-term american economy? when we can't find enough dollars on the planet, we can't find enough buyers on the planet, to invest in american debt, and so we, the american federal reserve, have to buy that american debt, just a click of the mouse, because no one else is. what if the federal reserve closed the doors tomorrow, mr. speaker? could we even sell it?
could we even sell it? i understand the federal reserve competing in that marketplace helps keep interest rates low. when demand is high for debt, interest rates are lower. the federal -- if the federal reserve were to stop that demand, what's the real cost of borrowing in this country. we don't know. we have four times higher debt today than we did in the late 1990's. by 1997. four times more debt today than we did in 1997. yet we pay less in interest on the nabble debt as a percent of g.d.p. today than we did then. why? because of record low interest rates. why do we have record low interest rates? because we are exerting every fiber of energy that the federal reserve can muster to keep those interest rates lower. i'll show you a chart of those interest rates later. but largest purchaser of our debt. now there's some good news in that. i want to shift from the